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Submission + - Rural broadband crisis hurts residents & compa (computerworld.com) 1

Ian Lamont writes: "Thanks to profit-oriented telco industry in the U.S., rural residents don't have as much access to broadband services as those who live in urban or suburban areas. According to the federal government, just 17% of rural U.S. households subscribe to broadband service. But the problem is more than a conflict between Wall Street and small-town residents wanting to surf the 'Net or play Warcraft — the lack of broadband access prevents many businesses from growing and diversifying rural economies, as it's expensive or impossible to get broadband:

Soon after moving to Gilsum, N.H. (population 811), [Kim] Rossey learned that he couldn't get broadband to support his Web programming business, TooCoolWebs. DSL wasn't available, and the local cable service provider wasn't interested in extending the cabling for its broadband service the three-tenths of a mile required to reach Rossey's house — even if he paid the full $7,000 cost. Rossey ended up signing a two-year, $450-per-month contract for a T1 line that delivers 1.44Mbit/sec. of bandwidth. He pays 10 times more than the cable provider would have charged and receives one quarter of the bandwidth.
The author also notes that larger businesses are being crimped, from a national call center to a national retailer which claims 17% of its store locations can't get broadband."

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Rural broadband crisis hurts residents & compa

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  • I'd love to see this article get discussed on Slashdot, even though for most of us, it's old news.

    Living in out in rural areas the past 5 years and moving to yet another rural area, I definately know the pain in finding service. Even worse is finding service that is actually decent.

    Fortunately the areas I've lived in contained local companys that provided in the areas, but they often racked up prices since they were the only choice in the area, and tech support was horrible.

The road to ruin is always in good repair, and the travellers pay the expense of it. -- Josh Billings